If CNN was hoping to get on President-elect Donald Trump’s good side, one of the network’s recent personnel moves is certainly not the way to do it.
CNN has assigned Laura Jarrett, the daughter of one of President Barack Obama’s closest advisers, Valerie Jarrett, to cover the Trump Justice Department, the cable outlet announced in a press release Wednesday. The New York Post reported that, though Jarrett’s beat is new, she was actually quietly hired by the network in September.
With no experience in journalism, her qualification for the post is apparently the fact that she is a Harvard-educated lawyer who, according to her CNN bio, has defended “companies and individuals in government investigations brought by the Justice Department.”
Despite her lack of journalism experience, some might find Jarrett’s close ties to Obama (who attended her wedding) and the Democratic Party through her mother to be somewhat off-putting, even if they don’t impede on her ability to report on Trump’s administration objectively.
Valerie Jarrett didn’t take it so well when Trump won the presidency. In fact, she took it like “a punch in the stomach.”
“Obviously, we were surprised by the outcome of the election. It kind of was like a — I’m not sure what the right analogy would be — but like a punch in the stomach, let’s say. Soul-crushing might be another description,” she said in December. “But that’s the democracy that we have: The people get to decide and the elections matter and we have to get about the business of doing our job.”
However, she’s definitely a fan of her boss, outgoing President Barack Obama. Earlier this month, Valerie Jarrett said the Obama White House “hasn’t had a scandal and he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself.”
In any event, Laura Jarrett’s desire to go into media is not necessarily new information. In 2009, she told Vanity Fair that her ambitions included working “as a TV-news legal analyst,” adding that her pet cause is “promoting civil rights and social equality for women and minorities.”
This month, Jarrett has reported on the unfinished ethics paperwork Trump’s Cabinet nominees are required to complete as well as the treatment of black lawmakers during the confirmation hearings for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R), Trump’s nominee for attorney general.
News of Jarrett’s job at CNN comes on the heels of Trump’s press conference last week, when he refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta. “I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news,” the president-elect said.